ASTRONOMERS has found two ‘inflated planets’ that appear to be turning into rocky ‘super-Earths’.
Puffy planets get their nickname because they are small and gaseous with ‘puff’ atmospheres.
A few have been found outside our solar system, and experts have just identified two that they think are changing.
It looks like two exoplanets are transforming and becoming rocky.
This would make them considered something called a ‘super-Earth’.
Super-Earth is a rocky planet several times the mass of our world.
If researchers are correct, the two bulging planets are being stripped of their atmospheres by the star they orbit.
This process is turning them into a planet more like ours and could be a good example of how rocky planets can form.
Puffy planets have a rocky core but are covered with gas that makes them resemble a small Neptune.
Nasa’s Hubble Space Telescope has surveyed two small Neptunes orbiting HD 63433, a star 73 light-years away.
“Most astronomers suspect that young, small Neptunes must have evaporating atmospheres,” said Michael Zhang, lead author of the study.
“But no one has caught one in the process so far.”
You can find the study in Astronomy Magazine.
Could we live on a super-Earth?
Unfortunately, just because a planet is rocky doesn’t necessarily mean it would be good to support life.
Living on a super Earth would require super strength.
Some researchers think that a super-Earth 10 times the mass of our planet would have 10 times more gravity.
That will cause damage to human body.
The Super-Earth could be uninhabitable for a variety of other reasons.
They need to be in the ‘habitable zone’ of the star they orbit to avoid the negative effects of radiation.
They also need the right amount of resources and oxygen for humans to survive.
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https://www.the-sun.com/tech/4614044/scientists-spot-puffy-planets-turning-into-super-earths/ Scientists discover new ‘blister’ planets transforming into ‘super-Earths’ – could we live there?